Playing in a pool, at a beach, or by a lake, can be a real treat on a hot day. Swimming is a lot of fun, but drowning is a real danger. Even kids who know how to swim can be at risk, read these tips from kidshealth.org with your children to find out how to stay safe around and in water.
- Always put on plenty of sunscreen before you go outside. It’s also a good idea to wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Drink plenty of water and fluids when you’re outside swimming and playing so you don’t become dehydrated.
- Stop swimming or boating as soon as you see or hear a storm. Remember, lightning is electricity — electricity and water are a dangerous combination.
- Don’t swim in the dark.
Pools are awesome! What could be better than a dip in the pool and fun in the sun? But it’s important to remember that a pool’s sides and bottom are usually made of concrete, a rock-hard material. A slip or fall could be painful and dangerous.
- Always have an adult watch you when you are in the pool — even in your own backyard. Never go in the pool if there is no adult around. Always call an adult or lifeguard if there is an emergency.
- Gates are around pools for a reason — to keep kids away from the water when there isn’t a lifeguard or adult around to watch them. Never go through any pool gates when they are closed. Stay safe and stay out!
- Swim with a buddy.
- If you’re learning to swim, ask your mom or dad to make sure your flotation devices are Coast Guard-approved.
- Walk slowly in the pool area. Don’t run.
- Swim at a depth that is safe for you. If you’re just learning to swim, stay in the shallow end.
- Don’t push or jump on others. You could accidentally hurt someone or yourself.
- Don’t chew gum or eat while you swim — you could choke.
Lakes and Ponds
Lots of kids swim in streams, lakes, or ponds. Take extra care when swimming in these beautiful places. You can’t always see the bottom of the lake or pond, so you don’t always know the depth of the water. This is another reason to always swim with an adult.
- Wear something to protect your feet from jagged rocks, broken bottles, or trash.
- Watch out for weeds and grass, which can trap even a good swimmer.
- If you’re going out on a boat, always wear a life jacket.
It’s hard to resist a day on the beach, but you’ll need to know some safety rules for swimming in larger bodies of water. When you first get to the beach, check with the lifeguard to find out how strong the waves are. Some places fly flags or write notes on a chalkboard to give swimmers an idea of what conditions are like.
- Never swim alone!
- Always swim where a lifeguard can see you and in areas that are marked for swimmers to use.
- Wear protective footwear if surfaces are rough or rocky.
- Don’t swim out too far.
- Never pretend to be drowning. The lifeguard may take you seriously.
- Don’t swim close to piers — those big, wooden structures that jut out into the water. If the water moves suddenly, you could hit a piling or a rock.
- Store drinks in plastic containers at the beach — broken glass bottles and bare feet don’t mix.
- Face the waves, instead of turning your back on them. Then you’ll know what’s coming.
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